Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, a
Democrat, on Thursday signed an executive order significantly
restricting the practice of conversion therapy in the state.
Conversion therapy, also known as
“ex-gay” therapy, sexual orientation change efforts, or
reparative therapy, attempts to alter the sexual orientation or
gender identity of LGBT youth.
The order directs the state to take
appropriate steps to prohibit payment for such therapies by any
Walz signed the bill during a ceremony
that included a rainbow Pride flag in the background.
Minnesota “is a place where you are
welcome,” he said. “There's no place for hate in this state.
There's no room for division.”
“We want you to be whoever you are,
and that should seem like a pretty simple statement. The fact of the
matter is, it's not,” he said to the LGBT community.
Born Perfect, a campaign to end
conversion therapy, applauded the move.
“We applaud Governor Walz for his
leadership in protecting LGBTQ youth and their families from this
deadly practice,” said Mathew Shurka, a survivor of conversion
therapy and a co-founder of Born Perfect. “This is one of the
strongest executive orders in the country and reflects Governor's
Walz's understanding that the harms caused by conversion therapy are
Shurka said that conversion therapy
“puts young people at risk of suicidality and other serious harms.”
Axios reported that the GOP-controlled
Minnesota Senate is opposed to banning such therapies.
Twenty states and the District of
Columbia have enacted laws protecting minors from conversion therapy.
Four states, now including Minnesota, have issued executive orders
restricting its use.